by: Ms. Patricia Nolen (Dream Team: Outreach/Manna House)
I spent my entire working life as a software developer, solving business problems with computer solutions. In my spare time I volunteered with children in youth sports. As a coach I was able to give them the confidence to believe they could accomplish anything their heart desired. So over thirteen years a team of volunteers worked with about 300 children in an effort to help them succeed in life.
There was an older father who had no athletic ability at all but was an awesome photographer. He captured moments of achievement for these children that was something tangible, proof they could reach their dreams. I wanted to someday become a “Mr. Jim” with a camera when I retired and share the gift of photography with others.
I have taken Foundations twice in the last four years and find that Serving and Teaching are my passions. I volunteer with Manna House and always have my camera to capture a story of the experience since every month is different.
Today’s assignment was to photograph a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Chamber of Commerce at a new business. For the last two months the business has been accepting toys as payment for services and matching the price of the toy to promote the business. A few needy families with children were identified and gifts were purchased for each child. After today’s ceremony there was a party for the children to receive their gifts. Some of these children didn’t understand the concept of receiving gifts wrapped in pretty paper. They simply didn’t know how to respond. The employees showed them how to tear the paper to reveal the prize inside.
My heart was broken to realize that there’s children in Anniston AL that have never experienced receiving a gift. How can that be? These families need food, clothing, and probably medical care. I appreciate the teaching of Pastor when he says “You do for one as you’d like to do for everyone”. That keeps me grounded.
ACTION: What can we do personally? We can get involved in helping locally to be aware of those around us in need and less fortunate. Small acts of kindness go a long way in making someone’s day more bearable. God is willing to put someone in our life who needs our help. My eyes were certainly opened today and I can’t stop crying.
Hebrews 13:16 says “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”